|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, a top contender for the NBA's Most Improved Player award, is out indefinitely after the team determined he needs a surgical procedure to repair cartilage in his right knee, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Sources told ESPN.com that the scope and severity of the injury will not be known until Bledsoe is in a surgeon's care, but he is suspected to have suffered meniscus damage during his Dec. 30 return to Los Angeles to face the Clippers. Bledsoe was selected No. 18 overall in the 2010 draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who immediately traded him to L.A.
Bledsoe has missed the Suns' past four games with what the team said is a sprained knee.
The electric 24-year-old is averaging 18.0 points, 5.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game in his first stint as a full-time starter, forming a dangerous backcourt tandem with Goran Dragic that has sparked the Suns to a wholly unexpected 21-13 start.